Performance-focused SUVs are gaining traction with each passing month. Leapfrogging on the back of the increased popularity of standard SUVs, these cars bring added pace as well as that all-important increased practicality.
There are plenty of options on the market, which can make deciding a little tricky. Fortunately, we’ve picked out some of the best models available today.
Ford Puma ST
Ford’s latest Puma ST takes the tried-and-tested Fiesta ST formula and raises it off the ground ever-so-slightly, giving a more commanding view of the road ahead without any real loss in performance.
It’s powered by the same 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine as you get in the Fiesta, while the suspension has been similarly revised. It’s an impressively capable compact SUV, this one, and will likely put a grin on the face of anyone behind the wheel.
BMW has a habit of making remarkably competent SUVs, and its latest X5M is no different. Packing a twin-turbocharged V8 engine it’s got more than enough performance on tap for most people, while revised suspension and steering ensures it handles well too.
Plus, all of this is encapsulated in the good-looking and practical X5 package, ensuring that it ticks the everyday boxes too.
Whenever AMG has a hand in the development of a car, you’re aware that it’s likely to be something a little mad. Certainly, with a 4.0-litre V8 engine and an uber-aggressive exterior, the GLC63 is a step away from the norm.
It’s a car which is packed with character too, thanks to a raucous exhaust note which can be heard from impressively far away.
Mini John Cooper Works Countryman
Though Mini might be better known for its more conventional hatchbacks, it’s also a dab hand at creating performance models - notably, the Countryman John Cooper Works, which is an ultra-focused version of the firm’s popular SUV.
It uses a powerful 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, while thanks to Mini’s well-known attitude towards handling, brings a level of driver involvement that is often unheard of in this segment.
Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered
Volvo’s XC60 is a popular family car option, but what if you want a little more performance from your practical SUV? That’s where the T8 Polestar Engineered steps in. It brings a punchy hybrid setup, while the regular suspension has also been swapped out for adjustable Ohlins instead.
There is all manner of gold-coloured accents dotted along the exterior and interior of the car too, helping to make it stand out against the rest of the XC60 range.
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